Sunday, January 29, 2012

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It has been a great Sabbath day for my family and I today. We arose to a beautiful, sunny morning amongst the Bear River Mountain range which paint the sky just East of us out the windows of our home.

At 9am we arrived for church and had a great three hour block of meetings. In our first meeting, Sacrament meeting, where we partake of the bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ's death and suffering in atoning for our sins, we learned about pondering upon the revelations that have been given to us by modern-day prophets. Specifically, we learned about the many benefits of the Word of Wisdom and praying to aid us in all decision making. 5 aPray always, that you may come off bconqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may cescape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work

Next, I dropped my son off at nursery. He began to scream and cry as we left the chapel and walked to his classroom because he knew I was going to leave him for the next two hours. After a few minutes he calmed down as he does each week and loved coloring pictures of Christ and Joseph Smith, puzzles, toys, singing songs about Jesus, snack time, and BUBBLES! We hope he outgrows his fear of being dropped off soon. I then met my wife in the adult Sunday school class and we had a great lesson on navigating the storms of life today.

This is the subject I want to recap and express my feelings about most today. The scriptures have many great stories of faith, analogies, and parables to teach us spiritual lessons. Today we dove into The Book of Mormon and learned more about the "Liahona" which was a small instrument (A ball with spindles-"compass") that helped Nephi and his family navigate through the wilderness outside of Jerusalem and travel across the ocean to the Promised Land of America.
In the beginning of The Book of Mormon, Nephi's dad, Lehi, had a vision to leave Jerusalem and lead his family into the wilderness. In summary, Nephi supported his father's decision and put faith in the Lord that this was the right thing to do. His elder brothers, Laman and Lemuel, however, murmured and complained about leaving their riches and belongings to venture off into the wilderness. Along the way, his father received a "guide," the Liahona, which would point them in the right way of their travels if they continued exercising faith in the Lord.

10 And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round aball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one bpointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness. - 1 Nephi 16:10

28 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the afaith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them. -1 Nephi 16:28

29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us aunderstanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by bsmall means the Lord can bring about great things. - 1 Nephi 10:29

Through this great story and example of faith, we learn that a family left their home and belongings to travel with few provisions to an unknown land. They relied upon this ball or instrument to guide them where they should go through exercising faith in God.

In these latter-days, the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth once again in its fullness which enables each of us as God's children to receive special blessings such as baptism by immersion and the gift of the Holy Ghost...Each one of us already have the spirit of Christ within us which leads us to do good. When we act on these feelings to do good we allow the Holy Ghost to teach us the truth of all things. As we discover more truth, we are able to become more free from sin and bondage... 5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will ashow unto you all things what ye should do. ~2 Nephi 10:5

In our day, the "Liahona" is the Gift of The Holy Ghost which is given to every new member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after they've been baptized by immersion by someone holding the proper priesthood authority. Although each of us have the spirit of Christ and can feel the Holy Ghost's influence day-by-day, just as we can feel the warmth of the sun, it is only upon being baptized that we're given the Gift of The Holy Ghost.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost is much like the Liahona because it guides us through the storms of life and helps us navigate our way by choosing the right things that God would have us choose. The scriptures are also a type of "Liahona" that act as a road map to aid us along our journey. Reading and studying the scriptures allows God to speak to us... If our destination is eternal life and to return back to our Heavenly Father's presence, the Holy Scriptures give us a blueprint or outline of what needs to be done to do just that. The Holy Ghost testifies that the scriptures and gospel of Jesus Christ are true, thus keeping us on the right course of action each day during our mortal life here upon the earth.

I loved our lesson today and bringing the scriptures to life. I know that The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and compliments the Holy Bible. I am grateful that I have invested time to learn more about its pages and have prayed to learn for myself that its true. If you have not read from The Book of Mormon yet, I challenge you to get a FREE copy delivered to your home and begin reading and praying. I can promise you it is a life changing book. I have grown closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as a result of reading, pondering, and praying about The Book of Mormon. The Holy Ghost has testified to me that it a true book of Jesus Christ's gospel. I hope you've had a blessed Sabbath today as well. Until next week~

~ C. Poulsen

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

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The Priesthood of God

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth.

John 15:16
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have achosen you, and bordained you, that ye should go and bring forth cfruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my dname, he may give it you.

I am very grateful for the Priesthood power and authority that exists within the Restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been blessed by its power throughout my life and have been privileged to bless the lives of others through exercising the rights and privileges of the priesthood.

When I turned age 12 I had hands laid upon my head and was conferred the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained to the office of Deacon. At age 14, I was ordained a Teacher. At age 16, I was ordained to the office of Priest. And at age 18 I had conferred upon me the rights, power, and authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood and became an Elder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been able to serve in these various offices within the church and be an instrument in the hands of God to bless others. It has strengthened my testimony and life as a result!

For a male member of the Church to hold the priesthood, an authorized priesthood holder must confer it on him and ordain him to an office in that priesthood (see Hebrews 5:4; D&C 42:11)

The proper authority is essential in order for the true church to grow and for each of us to receive the proper saving ordinances to return back to live with our Heavenly Father some day.

~C. Poulsen
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

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Prophets on the Earth Today!!!

Today, as in ancient times, prophets and apostles minister throughout the world. To see where they have recently been and learn what they are teaching, click on the picture above.

Prophets have been on the earth throughout the history of the earth. From the beginning of time Adam spoke with God and was commanded to teach his children gospel principles. In every dispensation God has called prophets to teach His word to His children on earth. It is no different today. We each have the opportunity to hear a prophet's voice and can follow the counsel given.

We learn of several examples in the Old and New Testaments of prophets called to be leaders of faith, a warning voice to the people of the earth, and excellent examples of righteousness.

I am so grateful for my knowledge of a living prophet and 12 apostles who travel the globe teaching Christ's restored gospel and lifting people everywhere. I have been privileged to meet a few of the apostles and have seen them all in a live setting at Worldwide General Conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

*When I was a senior in high school, our mixed choir named Freelancers, got the opportunity to go to Salt Lake City and sing Christmas carols to the living prophet at that time, Gordon B. Hinckley, and his two counselors. This was a unique experience and I felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost testify to me that these were men called of God.

Come and listen to a prophet's voice...

AMOS 3:7

7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth his csecret unto his servants the dprophets.
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

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1st Temple in El Salvador

For this New Year of 2012, one of my resolutions was to attend the temple at least 2-3 times per month. I would like to attend weekly and get in the habit of going on a routine basis. Then I learned that our temple here in Logan, Utah is closed the first three weeks of January for cleaning. I volunteered to help clean it next week! :) I love to see the temple and go inside to learn more about our Heavenly Fathers plan of salvation and happiness!

The primary song, I love to see the temple is one of my favorites. Each night as I lay my 20 month old son down to sleep, I ask if he would like me to sing a song about Jesus or the temple...He usually says Jesus but he has said temple a few times and that is the song I select. It is found on my music player down on the right if you would like to hear it!

The blessings of the temple are being brought to people around the earth! It seems that each year for the past few years several temples have been announced to be built throughout the world at General Conference. The prophet, and president of the church, Thomas S. Monson has announced different areas where temples will be built. This El Salvador was one of them. Enjoy the video and learn how the El Salvador temple came to be.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

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Happy New Years 2012 ~ Living the Abundant Life

It couldn't be said any better than from our living prophet upon the earth,
Thomas S. Monson.
Thomas S. Monson

Living the Abundant Life

At the advent of a new year, I challenge Latter-day Saints everywhere to undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life—a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings. Just as we learned the ABCs in school, I offer my own ABCs to help us all gain the abundant life.

Have a Positive Attitude

A in my ABCs refers to attitude. William James, a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher, wrote, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”1

So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment.

Charles Swindoll—author, educator, and Christian pastor—said: “Attitude, to me, is more important than … the past, … than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”2

We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.

Believe in Yourself

B is for believe—in yourself, in those around you, and in eternal principles.

Be honest with yourself, with others, and with your Heavenly Father. One who was not honest with God until it was too late was Cardinal Wolsey who, according to Shakespeare, spent a long life in service to three sovereigns and enjoyed wealth and power. Finally, he was shorn of his power and possessions by an impatient king. Cardinal Wolsey cried:

Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.3

Thomas Fuller, an English churchman and historian who lived in the 17th century, penned this truth: “He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.”4

Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.

You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.

Face Challenges with Courage

C is for courage. Courage becomes a worthwhile and meaningful virtue when it is regarded not so much as a willingness to die manfully but as a determination to live decently.

Said the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”5

There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!

Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.

Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

May we remember these ABCs as we begin our journey into the new year, cultivating a positive attitude, a belief that we can achieve our goals and resolutions, and the courage to face whatever challenges may come our way. Then the abundant life will be ours.

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